The Crypt

The Crypt's house - pre WWII
The Crypt undercroft, readied for LitFest 2020
Undercroft is down the low entrance at far left

The Crypt Arts Centre is entered through a fairly modern building which hides a 13th Century medieval flint and stone undercroft, the lower part of a two storey house which was used as a merchant’s store. The building can also be accessed from the car park behind this frontage (though this is usually locked).

As a rare example of its type, and the oldest secular building in Seaford, the Crypt is a scheduled monument of national importance. Later upper parts of the house, believed to have be 18th and 19th century additions, were damaged by bombing in the second world war, and were removed in the 1950s. Vaulted cellars with a vaulting boss decorated with grapes and vine leaves suggest the Crypt was once used for wine importation. The Crypt was “rediscovered” during 1993 excavations and subsequently restored. The District Council built a gallery around it and it is now open to the public as an historical building, art gallery and community arts centre.

The contrast between ancient, textured flint walls and smooth, matt white plaster provides an unusual and stimulating environment to showcase work of art and design. The Crypt displays both: from traditional and contemporary art exhibitions, adult and children’s literary, painting, creative workshops, photography, printmaking to ceramics, sculpture, textiles and crafts, and the annual Literary Festival.

More information about opening times and activities at the Crypt: click here for their website.

On leaving the Crypt turn right and continue down Church Street. It’s a delightfully colourful street of original terraced cottages, typical of the style of the 18th century. At the bottom, on the left, is Marine Terrace.